Caring for your patient with Parkinson’sInformation for ward staffThis booklet is for ward staff who need to understand the specific needs of people with Parkinson’s.You are likely to care for many patients with Parkinson’s and it’s important that their symptoms are managed appropriately – even if thereason for their admission is unrelated to their Parkinson’s. This booklet looks at the symptoms of Parkinson’s, the treatments for the condition and the potential side effects of these treatments. It also suggests actions that will help make sure that every patient with Parkinson’s receives the highest quality of care. Throughout the booklet we will refer you to a range of free informationresources produced by Parkinson’s UK. Details of how to order these are on page 28.1
ContentsKey messagesWhat is Parkinson’s?It’s a neurological conditionIt’s progressiveIt fluctuatesParkinsonismHow should I approach caring for a person with Parkinson’s?Advanced Parkinson’s and end of lifeMultidisciplinary workingCare planning for end of lifeHow can I help people with Parkinson’s manage their symptoms?Stiff or rigid musclesFreezingSlow movements (bradykinesia)TremorBladder problemsConstipationEating, swallowing and saliva controlFallsPainSleep problems and tirednessCommunication problemsDepression and anxietyMild memory problemsParkinson’s dementiaDementia with Lewy bodiesWhat are the main drug treatments for Parkinson’s?LevodopaDopamine agonistsApomorphineAnticholinergicsGlutamate antagonistsCOMT inhibitorsMAO-B inhibitorsDrugs to avoidAnti-sickness drugsWhy is it important that people get their medication on time, every time?What other issues relate to Parkinson’s medication?When levodopa wears off2
What are some of the potential side effects of Parkinson’s medication?DyskinesiaNeuroleptic malignant syndromeDopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome Dopamine dysregulation systemImpulsive and compulsive behaviourHallucinations and delusionsWhat else do I need to think about when I have a patient with Parkinson’s?SurgeryGoing homeHow can Parkinson’s UK support ward staff?GlossaryKey messages3
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition. The main symptoms are tremor, rigidity and slowness of movement, but the condition doesn’t only affect mobility. Remember that how the condition affects your patient can vary from hour to hour, or even minute to minute.1The amount of help and support you give them will need to vary, too.If your hospital has a self-administration of medication policy and your patient is physically and mentally well enough to do so, you should encourage them to be responsible for taking their own medication. If your hospital doesn’t have a self-administration of medication policy or your patient is too unwellto manage their own medication regimen, make sure you give them their Parkinson’s medication on time, every time. Taking medication at exactly the right time is crucial for people with Parkinson’s2and can make it easier for you to manage their care while in hospital.